Monday, October 03, 2005

The case for joining India

The case for joining India(as a solution to the Sri Lankan ethnic problem)
India was a state of mind for the outsiders.India was never a political reality until British decided it is high time the world have a mediocre cricket team that would consistently loose to teams from smaller countries to prove that size really doesn't matter after all.Only time India became almost a political reality was 2000 years ago under emperor Asoka.It's not a single country rather a collection of countries with hundreds of different languages and cultures.The miracle is somehow this crazy mix stayed together and thinks about it as a single entity after 50 years (with minor exceptions).Think about it this way folks ,it's our EU .

The pre - independence Ceylon politics was heavily influenced by Indian politics.Gandhi and Nehru visits in 1930's were sort of hidden message saying either we own you when British leave or We are in this together depending on who interprets .(Also Tagore's visits.Being away put serious restrictions on my quoting ability directly from reference material that are not on-line.May be Mephistopheles1981 the closet Indophile can verify) .May be British would have tied us to the freedom at mid-night experiment if not for the military bases and the cool moustache of DS.
That being the history ,we exactly fall into the size and composition of the Indian state with all the cultural connections any other Indian state could claim to their neighbors.The SAARC experiment was supposed to tie the countries together more tightly economically anyway.They were talking about the single entry passports couple years back!We were going to sign a defense fact with India ,weren't we?On the other hand we can't extend Palalay airport ,lease oil tanks in Trincomalee or our President can't take a bathroom break without first getting the permission from Delhi.Why not cut the crap and eliminate the middleman?
The important question is WWPD(What Would Pirabakaran Do)?
Of course on the first glance this one would sure to go down the crapper like the peace talk at airport suggestion.After fighting IPKF and killing Rajiv LTTE wants India to be involved in negotiations and everybody accepts that India is the deciding factor of any settlement.What if there is a mass political movement for joining India among both Sinhala and Tamil communities?Factor in the up-country Tamils and the cozy relationship of SLMC with India.He will be irrelevant if everybody else want to join.There is still a sizeable Sri Lankan Tamil community in India as refugees. That is where most of them would go if the war breaks out again .
To ease the way to merge with India I would say let's lay the ground work now.As soon as possible.
1.Single entry passport
2.Single currency(also free trade)
3.Highway network
(From Colombo) Think about Going to Galle/Kandy within 1 hour ,Trinco,Batticalo in 2-3 hours Jaffna in3- 4 hours maximum.See how tiny we are?My personal bilief is that If we had a good highway network in the country we wouldn't have this trouble at all.Instead of Mahaweli project we should have done this first .That's another post though .
On the same line ,think about Chennai in 6 hours ,Bombay 10-12 hours(I don't know the exact numbers just throwing them out .The point I'm making is to connect with India via land ,Air and Sea as much as possible)
4.More Interaction with Higher Education system in India.
What if we can get it done in next 5-10 years plus a critical mass within Sinhala community to back up the support to join India.

What about the Sinhalese dominated factions?JVP cannot say no ,can they?They wanted to fight India by killing Sri Lankan armed forces and police first .They also re-named Bombay onions and Mysore dhal (Freedom fries anyone?).Then their mighty leader's ass was saved by RAW .There is no bigger buddy than India now.UNP and SLFP are all for good relations bending over backwards for India.That leaves JHU and some irrelevant leftist parties.I'm sure leftists would say yes.How can JHU say no when the country wants to join the holy land where Buddha was born?
I can list plus and minus points for the case.The pluses cancels out lot of minuses and there are ways to get around them ,too.
I'm aware of Subramanium Swami's campaign for totally different reasons.That wouldn't hold us from considering a totally valid option which can bring peace and prosepertity.Let's try the anti-separatism!


Jack Point said...

India is Sri Lanka's natural hinterland. Strengthening trade ties with that country is only logical, although I'm not too sure about the common currency (witness some of the problems with the Euro). A free trade area, certainly.

Closer links, if only for the purpose of getting access to Bollywood babes, should be at the top of the list.

sittingnut said...

i think we are heading that way anyway.
economic union is just around the corner(maybe 15-25 years away) though a political union is undesirable imo.
i think we are 'better' than them in both fronts, though i know most people think otherwise, they are just bigger that's all.

but i don't see how exactly our present problems are going to be solved by joining india?

Anonymous said...

Is someone losing it out here! you will be treated no better than the other states of India, and perhaps even worse, cos they just , won't care about you .Believe you me...cos i'm Indian, I know Our folk and their attitude to u.And yes you guys are better in many ways...take it from someone whose lived on both sides...

Karthik said...

I don't know who this dude is, who says I lived on both sides), But this kind of talk is the root cause of separatism, I would say.
It starts here... and ends in the classic case of WWPD.

Anyway, to add to the positive points I would say the following:

I crossed the Palk Strait to marry a Sri Lankan beauty. And when my future resisted because I am an Indian, I offered to live near him, and let him evaluate me over a year.

I am here now for the past 11 months, and you know what. I live in his home now. And I am going to take his daughter's hands very soon.

And I have never ever thought Sri Lankans low or Indians high, even though I have gone through that kind of treatment in this same country.

I am called "Ceylon Maapillai" in India, and "Bloody Indian" in Sri Lanka.

See some of my postings on my blog related to treating Indians in SL.

Yet as of now, I am happy and content and even contribute more to this society here.

Anonymous said...

Good luck Karthik...!! BTW was just saying things as I've experienced them!No offence!Love sri lanka myself...!